An open letter to Gov. Shapiro, Sen. Hughes, Rep. Krajewski.
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An Open Letter

To: Gov. Shapiro, Sen. Hughes, Rep. Krajewski

From: A verified voter in Philadelphia, PA

July 10

We cannot wait any longer to pass the state budget with monies for transit! We need to immediately expand transit funding for public transit services in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, for more transit in every community across PA. For the third year in a row, the ball might get dropped. June 30th was the deadline for budget passage in Harrisburg, and while negotiations have been extended through this week, public transit funding may be left behind, again. This is unacceptable. The failure to pass a transit funding measure this week will hurt working people and communities all across the Commonwealth. The failure to pass a budget in a timely fashion is already projected to yield catastrophic service cuts and fare increases in this coming year for transit riders across Pennsylvania. Hundreds of thousands of riders in our communities will suffer, with increased cost and time barriers to access quality healthcare, sustainable jobs, and healthy food. These harms will affect all of us: SEPTA’s budget shortfall alone will result in $254.7 million in state and local tax revenue losses. That’s money that funds education, social services, economic development and infrastructure all across the Commonwealth. Further delays will lead to similar losses in transit systems throughout the state. Not to mention any tax revenue that will not be realized due to lack of service during the multiple world-class events to be held in 2026. Governor Shapiro has proposed an increase of 1.75% in the state sales tax allocation to the Public Transportation Trust Fund: enough money to stave off service cuts and fare increases that are imminent in southeastern PA, and help to reverse the service cuts and pandemic austerity measures that have harmed riders across the state. Whether we live in Harrisburg or Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre or Erie, rural towns or Philadelphia, all Pennsylvanians deserve safe, reliable, dignified access to the places they need to go. Public transit operates in every single PA county, bringing millions of residents safely, affordably and efficiently to their jobs, local businesses, healthcare, schools and healthy food everyday. Bus lines are lifelines, keeping our economy and communities thriving- but funding for transit has been falling short of what residents need and deserve. The time is now to build more connected communities and give agencies the flexibility to adjust schedules and routes to fit new commuting patterns since the onset of the pandemic. Operator shortages are causing trip cancellations, and we need stable funding to attract and retain these good, union jobs and give riders reliable service. We can’t do this without a new dedicated source of transit service funding at the State level. Please support this essential increase in stable, annual funding to the Public Transportation Trust Fund and ensure its inclusion in the state budget, today. Every county in Pennsylvania depends on your support.

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